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10/27/2016 3:02 pm  #1

Hyperborea: describing it to new folks!

I Sympathize with Brock Savage particularly at con games.

I figured since Jeff was in the middle of Kick Starter that we could cobble together a list of points, to present to new folks, as to the uniqueness of Hyperborea.

I'm sure the folks here can add to or correct my list!

Humans are the dominate race.  Within the human races the differences are largely role-playing vs rules based or mechanical.

The cosmos of Hyperborea generates a different calendar with 13 earth years making up a full Hyperborean year.  The seasons are years long etc.

The world is flat and hex-shaped having been ripped from the old Earth and flung into an alternate or very changed universe.

Hyperborea is not very large and tends toward frozen in the center and warmer to the outskirts.

The gods worshipped are a disparate group with varying degrees of influence.  There is very little or no interaction and the gods do not represent a pantheon. Tsathoqqua is currently the god with the greatest influence throughout the land.

The races arrived in different ways and at different times.  Some were products of divine / alien intervention such as the Hyperboreans. Some arrived via the mystic Borealis such as the Esquimaux and the Vikings.

Hyperborea is a sword and sorcery world.  (insert argument as to what that means here) Magic is generally seen as dark. Those that use it are seen as folks to avoid or kill if you can.  The atmosphere is grim and without much hope or light.  Survival is the priority whether in the great cities or the wilds.

The world has much variety as it has snatches of the weird fantasy of CAS and HPL, the sword and sorcery of REH, and the real Earth myth of some ancient civilizations.

off the top of my head


“How can I wear the harness of toil
And sweat at the daily round,
While in my soul forever
The drums of Pictdom sound?” 

10/27/2016 3:21 pm  #2

Re: Hyperborea: describing it to new folks!

Great idea! Will write up my 30 second intro tonight after I put lil' Chainsaw to bed.

Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face

10/27/2016 3:29 pm  #3

Re: Hyperborea: describing it to new folks!

Thanks Chainsaw! I think a mention of the unique sun and solar system would be appropriate as well. I am looking forward to hearing what other people use to introduce AS&SH to people who are unfamiliar with weird fantasy, sword and sorcery, and cosmic horror (CAS, REH, and HPL respectively).


10/27/2016 8:32 pm  #4

Re: Hyperborea: describing it to new folks!

I think everyone's Hyperborea will vary a little bit, emphasizing some aspects of the setting over others. I tend to run my games during colder, darker years, for example. With that caveat, when I introduce the setting at a convention game, what I say has evolved into something like...

"Thanks for signing up for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea, which takes place in Hyperborea, a setting inspired by REH, HPL, CAS, Leiber, Moorcock, Vance and others.

Hyperborea exists as a chunk of icy, mountainous land, ripped away from ancient Earth's surface and spinning through the void while its surrounding sea spills into infinity. A bloated, dying sun skirts the horizon, never fully setting or rising. Saturn and its rings loom in the red sky, while two moons rise and fall. A great plague wiped out almost everything 1,000 years ago and the surviving Amazons, Atlanteans, Hyperboreans, Kimmerians and Vikings, among other mythical people, never really recovered, leaving plenty of ruins to explore, though filled with alien, demonic, twisted, mutated and elder things, all hateful and hungry. At best, the gods are uncaring, and at worst, they're vengeful, so steel, sorcery and ancient technology like radium pistols offer the most reliable aid!"

It's not perfect, but I try to differentiate it from something like Greyhawk or Tolkien (both of which I love). I add more specifics if people have questions and as the game situation warrants. I also try to drop in basic setting flavor here and there, like:

- It's cold and snowing now, so you are happy to have warm sabretooth furs.
- There's only four hours of light these days, from 10AM-2PM, and it's only the dying sun's sickly red rays.
- The last time you saw other people was three weeks ago, when some priests of a Thaumagorgan death cult wanted to trade a few diseased slaves for steel and wine.
- You can see Saturn and Hyperborea's two moons in the sky tonight, which bodes well for tomorrow's travel.
- A herd of mammoths appears on the horizon, thundering in the distance.
- You see a small patch of dangerous lotus plants, just off the trail, and a few red deer, rotting near them.

Again, that's how I do it for my games. Your game might happen mainly during lighter, warmer years. Hope that helps!

Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face

Board footera

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